Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (March 24, 1928)



Dublin Core


Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (March 24, 1928)

Alternative Title

Chase Correspondence (March 24, 1928)


Windermere (Fla.)
Chase, Sydney Octavius, 1860-1941
Chase, Joshua Coffin, 1858-1948
Citrus fruit industry--Florida
Chase and Company (Sanford, Fla.)
Orange industry--Florida
Grapefruit industry


An original letter of correspondence between brothers and business partners Joshua Coffin Chase and Sydney Octavius Chase. Topics discussed in the letter include the condition of grapefruit trees at Isleworth Grove, upcoming shipments, and the rapidly decreasing quality of grapefruit still on trees.

Chase & Company was established by brothers Sydney Octavius Chase and Joshua Coffin Chase in 1884. The company sold insurance and later invested in storage facilities and fertilizer sales. Chase & Company was known mainly for its agricultural interests and maintained a series of citrus groves throughout Central Florida. The company was based out of Sanford and became one of the city's largest employers into the early twentieth century. By 1886, the Chase brothers purchased several citrus groves to expand their business, including Isleworth Grove in Windermere, Florida. Isleworth Grove covered a total of 1,300 acres along the Butler Chain of Lakes. Between 1894 and 1895, Central Florida was hit by several freezes and most of the citrus crop was destroyed. Chase & Company did not grow citrus crops again until 1904 when Joshua came back from an extended stay in California. Between 1894 and 1900, different types of pesticide equipment was created, including equipment driven by steam, machines, and horses.Randall Chase joined in the family business soon after his brother, Sydney Chase, Jr., did in 1922. Randall became the president of Chase & Company from 1948-1965. The Isleworth property stayed in the Chase family until 1984 when Franklin Chase, the son of Sydney Chase, sold the property to famed golfer Arnold Palmer.


Chase, Joshua Coffin


Original letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase, March 24, 1928: box 49, folder 20.84, Chase Collection (MS 14), Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Date Created


Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase, March 24, 1928.

Is Part Of

Chase Collection (MS 14), box 49, folder 20.84, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Isleworth Collection, Citrus Collection, Chase Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.

Is Referenced By

Folder referenced in Chase Collection finding guide, http://web.uflib.ufl.edu/spec/pkyonge/chase.htm.




198 KB


1-page typewritten letter






Isleworth Grove, Windermere, Florida
Chase & Company Office, Sanford, Florida

Accrual Method



History Teacher
Economics Teacher
Geography Teacher


Entire Chase Collection is comprised of four separate accessions from various donors, including Cecilia Johnson, the granddaughter of Joshua Coffin Chase, and the children of Randall Chase.

Rights Holder

The displayed collection item is housed at Special and Area Studies Collections at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Rights to this item belong to the said institution, and therefore inquiries about the item should be directed there. RICHES of Central Florida has obtained permission from Special and Area Studies Collections at the University of Florida to display this item for educational purposes only.

Contributing Project

Digital Collections (UFDC), University of Florida


Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

Source Repository

External Reference

Warner, S.C. "Development of Marketing Citrus Fruits in Florida." Florida State Horticultural Society vol. 36 (1923): 198-200.
Hopkins, James T. Fifty Years of Citrus, the Florida Citrus Exchange: 1909-1959. Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida Press: 1960.
"Joshua Coffin Chase (1858-1948)." Florida Citrus Hall of Fame. Copyright 2012. http://floridacitrushalloffame.com/index.php/inductees/inductee-name/?ref_cID=89&bID=0&dd_asId=960.
"Sydney Chase Sr. (1860-1941)." Florida Citrus Hall of Fame. Copyright 2012. http://floridacitrushalloffame.com/index.php/inductees/inductee-name/?ref_cID=89&bID=0&dd_asId=600.


March 24, 1928.

Mr. S. O. Chase,
Chase & Company,
Sanford, Florida.

Dear Syd,

ISLEWORTH GRAPEFRUIT - All of the fruit now on the trees is from off-bloom. We have only moved about sixty (60) boxes in a car to Angelo, which realized $3.75 FOB. Out of the same lot we included eight (8) boxes in a car which moved to New York auction and which sold on the 23rd at the $5.00, which is equivalent to $3.75 FOB.

The car for export which moves today runs sizes mostly 70s and 80s, with some few sizes larger and smaller. The fruit is thick-skinned, inclined to be nosey, and is certainly not over-supplied with juice. It may be a mistake to send this fruit to England, as it may not realize as much there as it would in the markets in this country.

This morning the writer looked over the grapefruit sill on the trees, and finds that the quality is going off very rapidly. He instructed Hutchinson, and also Smith, to pick and move two (2) cars of this fruit during the coming week, and believe it will be advisable to do this, as the writer feels the prices will go lower and the quality will deteriorate. There may be all together in the neighborhood of ten (10) cars of this fruit, and we netter string it out with the Valencias.

Unfortunately Hutchinson always has some excuse when we want to rush operations. This morning his truckman was laid up and three (3) of his packers were away. The coming week we want to load out on an average of two (2) cars of Valencias per day. Hutchinson was instructed last week to provide a sufficient force to handle the job, and promised to do so. We wanted two (2) cars of the Valencias to move today. He only got one car going, claiming that owing to fall-downs he could not get it packed in time to have it precooled.

Unless Hutchinson can show himself big enough for the job at Isleworth, we better try to place someone else there next season when we will have so much more fruit to put thru the house.

Yours very truly,

Document Item Type Metadata

Original Format

1-page typewritten letter


Chase, Joshua Coffin. “Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (March 24, 1928).” RICHES of Central Florida accessed November 30, 2023, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/2726.



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